PM Modi to kick start International Yoga Day celebrations from Rajpath today

New Delhi, June 21 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kick start the much-awaited International Yoga Day celebrations from Rajpath in the national capital today.

The Prime Minster is expected to arrive at Rajpath at 6.40 a.m., following which he will give an introductory speech before participating in the 35-minute demonstration of yogic postures. This is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m., and it is expected that over 40,000 people are expected to participate.

Besides, about two billion people across the globe are expected to participate in the inaugural day of the event.

Several state governments have made elaborate arrangements on this occasion.

Students, volunteers of NCC and government officials will join to make it a success.

Security arrangements have been beefed up for the D-day with about 30 companies of security personnel deployed to be on guard at Rajpath and the surrounding areas.

Around 5,000 armed security personnel including Delhi policemen have also secured the yoga venue and the area around it.

Special arrangements have also been made in various states to make Yoga Day more participatory among the people.

Union Minister for Transport and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis will participate in the event from Nagpur whereas Home Minister Rajnath Singh do the same from Lucknow.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy chief minster Manish Sisodia are also expected to take part in the event in Rajpath.

Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu will travel to Chennai where 30,000 people are expected to participate while Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma will visit Noida to participate.

Australia welcomed the International Yoga Day and announced its decision to host a conference at Melbourne tomorrow.

The ‘Yoga Australia’ association with the Indian consulate there would jointly host the 8th Annual International Yoga Conference.

Addressing a press briefing, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Asoke Mukerji said: “by celebrating the Yoga Day globally, India hopes that through the popularisation of yoga we will be able to tackle some of the biggest challenges that we face as mankind, including in the area of global health.”

Mukerjee said 256 cities in 192 countries would celebrate the first annual day of yoga.

Mukerjee further said that Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj would participate tomorrow at the world body to be attended by hundreds, including school children from India and the UN International School.

He added that Swaraj would be representing India, which had initiated the idea of having an annual International Yoga Day.

Swaraj, along with the UN Chief and the UNGA President, would visit Times Square where an estimated 30,000 people would practice Yoga and where the UN celebrations would also be broadcasted live on giant screens.

Swaraj is expected to attend a lecture and demonstration of yoga at the Hindu Temple Society of North American and at a programme at Lincoln Centre.

The yoga celebrations are being organised after the United Nations had in December last year declared June 21 as International Yoga Day, with 177 countries voting in favour.

The proposal was mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to the UN General Assembly last year. (ANI)

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